By Michael Aris
A suite of essays on Bhutan.
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Extra info for Bhutan (Central Asian Studies)
Unfortunately the geographical setting remains somewhat obscure and only the larger districts can presently be identified on the map. Nevertheless, the work is of great value, based as it is on a number of eye-witness reports and written in a most refreshing style, simple and direct. I know of no other work in Tibetan or Bhutanese literature which quite c'ompares with it. The lack of a similar account of the 'Brug-pa expansion towards the west is much felt. The name of Mi-'gyur brTan-pa also figures prominently in that movement.
It is the evil conjunctions of all these which explains 'the evil behaviour [of the Tibetans] including brigandage and so forth'. But besides these bad configurations the place has certain good qualities which are duly listed. She perceives that if a temple is built on the Plain of Milk 24 the natural good qualities 2s ofTibet would come forth and flourish. Further calculations establish that in order to activate these qualities the following sites have to be disposed: 1) 'a place where many people foregather, the king's site'; 2) 'a place where many monks foregather, the site of a temple'; 3) 'a place where many T$i foregather, the site, of a monastery'; and 4) 'a place where happiness is pursued temporarily, a site for the common people'.
The terminal ( date of this study is c. 1705 when the secret of the Zhabs-drung's 'retreat' was fmally divulged but in Part Four I conclude with a brief glimpse of the issues raised by a study of later developments in the theocracy, particularly those which led to the rise of the -present monarchy and the country's full independence. Plate 5. top The Yang-'du! temple of sKyer-chu in the sPa-gro Valley. bottom The mTha'-'du! temple of Byams-pa in Bum-thang. 5rong-btsan sGampo who ruled Tibet from c.